About Wavewalk’s new W720 catamaran kayak-skiff

W720 GIF Animation

Wavewalk recently announced the new THE W720 CATAMARAN KAYAK-SKIFF.
The W720 is identical to the classic W700, except that it comes with a mounting plate, standard. This mount is suitable for outboard motors up to 3 HP.
The W720 catamaran kayak-skiff weighs 85 lbs without a motor, and it’s perfect for inland fishing in ponds, lakes, and slow moving rivers.
With its roomy cockpit and its carrying capacity of 360 lbs, it can comfortably take up to two anglers on board.
Its price makes it even more appealing: $2,200 without shipping.

The W720 is not the S4, but it’s a stable and comfortable motorboat for up to two anglers, and it’s the easiest to cartop and carry.

In kayak fishing terms, the W720 is the most stable and roomy one or two person kayak out there, and the easiest to paddle (only 31 inches wide!).
And last but not least, the W720 is the only kayak out there that’s back pain free.

Whether human powered or motorized, the W720 is certainly the best of breed in fishing kayaks, and the only microskiff in the “even lighter than the S4” class.

Hands-on: DIY articles

Updated on January 15, 2022

Most people don’t design their own microskiff, or portable boat, but many love to outfit it, and build accessories for it  –

How To Trim My S4 Microskiff For Speed? »

Design, including boat design, is about choosing the formula that would best answer the requirements of the user. In the case of the S4 Microskiff, the requirements for extreme portability (easy car topping) and versatility (ability to paddle) led to a limitation on engine power, mostly due to its weight.
Many boat owners care about being able to reach the maximum speed that their boat allows for, so they spend much time and money on trimming their boat, and this article offers S4 Microskiff owners information and hand-on advice on how to trim their boat for speed.

Wavewalk recently published several articles on subjects related to Do It Yourself (DIY) projects. The latest is Blaine Edsion’s new review My S4 microskiff rigged for fishing by my friend Chuck Earls »

Prior to this, Wavewalk published the review entitled More S4 rigging projects, and 10 HP motor » By Terry Pritchard. It is very interesting to read, especially if you’re looking to turn your S4 into a lightweight, compact, and almost full-featured bass boat.

A few months ago, Wavewalk published an article entitled Wheel cart for portable boat, kayak-skiff, and cartop microskiff, and it provides simple and easy to follow advice and instructions on how to build the best wheel cart for your W700 or S4.
As always, nothing beats simple!

One of the fist questions that future S4 owners ask is about motorizing, and more specifically, what size motor would best fit their needs –

3.5 HP or 6 HP outboard motor for my S4 microskiff? »
Wavewalk and its dealers sell the S4 microskiff non-motorized, and it’s up to the boat owner to choose what type and size of motor they will use. Wavewalk offers plenty of info and good advice on these subjects, and this is the latest article in this series.

It’s worth mentioning here that Wavewalk’s website offers dozens of articles including on subjects related to boat design and DIY projects.
Articles Directory »

 

The S4X2 Twin Boat

Twin S4 Multihull Boat
S42X double microskiff
Front view. The front crossbar is attached with straps to the front decks
S42X double microskiff
The rear crossbar is bolted to the boats’ mounting plates.
S42X double microskiff without the center platform
S42X double microskiff without the center platform (early version)

The Concept and Basic Figures

Wavewalk developed a twin S4 “quadramaran” boat – a double catamaran featuring four hulls in total.
People have been tying together small and bigger boats for many years, from canoes and kayaks to larger vessels, and the S4X2 is simply a new version of this concept.
With its total width of over 80 inches, the S4X2 is extremely stable and seaworthy, and its estimated load capacity is over 1,000 lbs, which means that it can carry a driver and three full size adult passengers, plus plenty of camping, fishing, hunting or diving gear. Everyone on board is expected to be able to stand up at the same time as the other passengers, and fish in this position, at least on flat water.

Structure

This double boat is made from a pair of Wavewalk S4 multihull boats attached together by means of a lightweight wooden structure reinforced with bolts and  metal brackets. The total weight of this boat is 230 lbs without the motor and payload. This includes two times the 100 lbs that each S4 weighs, and 30 lbs for the connecting wooden structure.

Partial view of an S4X2 multiboat
Partial view of an S4X2 twin boat made from two S4 skiffs assembled together

Portability and Mobility

The main advantage that this boat offers over other boats of similar size is that even one user can take it apart quickly and easily, and transport it non-assembled without a trailer, if the transporting vehicle is big enough, such as a minivan, a big SUV, or a big pickup truck.
The boat’s easy transportation and assembly capability greatly enhances its users’ ability to launch it almost anywhere, without necessarily relying on boat ramps.

Power and Speed

Being stabler and more seaworthy than its individual component boats, the S4X2 can be powered by a bigger outboard motor. How powerful remains to be seen, and current estimates are up to 20 HP, which means that it may reach 30 mph.
Alternatively, two S4 owners could join them together, and power their ad hoc S4X2 with two small outboards normally used separately on each of the S4 boats. In such case, a wooden connecting structure would not be necessary, since the main purpose of this structure is to enable driving the S4X2 with one powerful motor attached along its center line.
Note that the combination of two small motors will not be yield much more speed than each of the small outboards can deliver separately, but it will be more powerful than a single small outboard, and useful to move heavy loads.

Twin S4 Multihull Boat
Top view of an S4X2 multi boat

Versatility

The ability to quickly assemble and disassemble this boat makes it perfect for multiple uses. For example, in a capacity of a tender (service boat) for a big boat, a group of passengers can go on shore in an S4X2 , and return to the mother ship in different times, in two smaller groups, each using a single S4.
Similar scenarios can be imagined for hunting, fishing and diving trips, and tours with people who have different interests and/and schedules.
In this context it is important to remember that the S4 works perfectly not just as a motorboat, but as a paddle craft (canoe or kayak) as well. Carrying a spare, small electric outboard on board an S4X2, or even a small gas outboard is easy, and doing so can turn the two S4s components into completely independent vessels.
However, if the owner of an S4X2 is interested mainly in versatility, they should bear in mind that a single S4 is not capable of taking a 4-Cycle outboard motor that’s over 10 HP, due to the motor’s weight at the stern. In other words, there will be a tradeoff between maximum speed and maximum versatility.

Skiff Casting Deck

Outfitting an S4X2 with a large size casting deck is very easy – just cover the front end with a sturdy plywood board cut to the desired shape.

Sailing

Four hulls for one boat is excessive,  but the exceptional tracking ability delivered by this rare structure, combined by its extreme stability will be most useful for sailing.

Paddling

Paddling is very limited in the S4X2, pretty much like paddling is for passengers of a good size skiff or a big Jon boat. This could be a bit of a challenge when beach launching and beaching, especially if there is only one person on board.

Sea Trials

Wavewalk has done sea trials for the S4X2 during the summer. The R&D tested the strength of the connecting wooden structure, the boat’s performance in rough water, possible need for a spray shield, launching and beaching, carrying the components over short distances, assembly and disassembly, and so on.

Bigger motors will be introduced at a later stage, possibly next year.

For more info contact Wavewalk.

The story of the W500, the best fishing kayak for its time

W500 powered by a 2 HP outboard motor

When Wavewalk launched the 500 series (W500), in 2009, it became a big success overnight, and people stopped ordering the previous W300, which got canceled soon after, in 2010. Simply, the W500 design was a bigger and much better version of the W300, which didn’t have a chance to survive.

The W500 offered what no kayak could until then – Super stability coupled with zero back pain. On top of this, its onboard storage space was several times bigger than the storage space that any fishing kayak offered, and it could take a second passenger on board, providing this person wasn’t very heavy.

For a kayak that offered a load capacity of 360 lbs, the 60 lbs W500 was very lightweight. This 6:1 Load to Weight (L/W) Ratio was improved only in 2017, with the 6.5:1 L/W ratio of the S4.

In 2010, Sungjjn Kim from South Korea successfully outfitted his W500 with a 2 HP air-cooled outboard gas motor from Honda. This was a huge breakthrough in motorized kayaking, and a most significant event for Wavewalk. Before that, anglers dared outfitting their kayaks only with feeble and sluggish electric trolling motors that offered poor performance and a limited range of travel.

Soon after, Wavewalk started experimenting with Sungjin’s motorized kayak concept, and presented it to the public in articles and videos, including videos that showed it successfully driven in the ocean chop. Clients reacted positively to these ideas, and a new class of vessels was created – the cartop kayak-microskiff, an ultralight, fun, versatile and inexpensive boat that worked well as a paddle craft too.

In 2013, Kenny Tracy from Maryland outfitted his W500 with a powerful, water cooled, 6 HP outboard motor from Tohatsu. He squeezed 13 mph from that rig – faster than any motorized kayak prior to that. This was the first step in the creation of a high-performance W500.

Following Kenny’s success, and in view of the safety limitations associated with the use of such a tiny kayak with a heavy and powerful motor, Wavewalk started offering  a version of the W500 called the W570, which was essentially the same model outfitted with large-size, detachable, inflatable side flotation modules. With the W570, Wavewalk also offered a lightweight, detachable spray shield.

But it became clear that adding power and accessories to the small W500 would not satisfy the market’s demand for high performance cartop microskiffs, and in 2015, Wavewalk came up with its W700 series. The W500 cost 20% less than the W700, and weighed 20 lbs less, but in the long run, these two advantages weren’t enough to compete with the bigger and better W700. In 2017 , the  little W500 got further squeezed by the advent of the high performance S4, and eventually, this year, 2020, Wavewalk suspended its offering of the W500.

During the decade in which the iconic W500 was available for sale, it sold in 30 countries worldwide. People have used it for touring, diving, crabbing, fishing, shrimping, hunting, camping, bird watching, photography, positioning rowing shells before races, searching for sunken artifacts, sailing, tendering big boats and yachts, scientific research and engineering, as well as maintenance of bridges, harbors, and waterways.

The W500 offered people with severe back problems to enjoy kayaking, boating, and fishing, without suffering from any back pain or other ergonomic issues. Even people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) benefited from its remarkable stability and comfort.

Wavewalk did not fully discontinue the W500, and the company will consider taking the W500 tooling (rotational mold) out of mothballs if an opportunity for large size orders presents itself.